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07 January 2013


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Colonel, what are your thoughts on Brennan being tapped to lead CIA?



I would not have picked Brennan. He seems to me to be a rule obsessed product of too much Catholic education. pl


I guess I have personally known more DCI's than the average guy. I know Brennan very well, and I would rank him near the top.

PL and I differ on this, but I know Brennan better.


This trumped-up complaining about Hagel would not happen if Netanyahu were not so obviously incompetent that he needed to be put in the background for a while. There was a political space in the US where discussion of Israel resided. Pro-Israeli communications people did manage to shift that space greatly towards a Likud-Isreali-rightwing-type position, especially among the American right. But Netanyahu's greedy clownishness has undermined his party's own carefully fought "gains" in America. He's been the worst possible ambassador for the Likud position.

He reminds me of Saakashvili. No nuance. Possibly crazy. Increasingly recognized as politically toxic by his US Senatorial allies. Do you recall a grand political wake when this erstwhile darling of certain US senators, who even would have had the US go to war on his behalf, was tossed out by Georgia's voters?


When does not Senor roll his eyes and engage in childish acting when being invovled in an interview? The other day, he acatually grabbed the arm of former PA governor Ed Rendell, when Rendell was making a point he didn't like.
And Senor has tried to parlay his stint as CPA spokesman into sympathy for 'having served in a combat zone.' Sure like to see him try that with an Army or Marine grunt vet.
Actually, there is a consensus in the military-foreign affairs community in DC FOR Hagel- at least the serious people and not the neo-cons and Likudniks.



As DCIA Brennan will be Clapper's statutory subordinate. That should be interesting. pl



Yeah. He's just the life of the party. Look at him. I guess I am biased by my memory of him as a humorless drudge working in Alan Fiers'office in Jeddah. pl


I assure you Brennan has a fully-developed and lively sense of humor. He's a hardworking guy, but certainly not a humorless one.


Who would Netanyahu like to see as SecDef? Would AIPAC push an alternative or isn't this done while Hagel is still "running"?


Re. John Brennan

In June 2011, Brennan testified publicly that in AfPak “there hasn't been a single collateral death because of the exceptional proficiency, precision of the capabilities we've been able to develop."

In May 2011, in the immediate aftermath of the OBL killing, Brennan publicly gave a detailed, graphic account of what happened at the house in Abbottabad. It featured a word picture of a shoot-out between Seals breaking into OSL's room and bin-Laden firing several revolver rounds from behind the young wife whom he had seized as a shield.

These episodes, supported by less colorful evidence, strongly suggest that John Brennan is a serial liar and someone with a tenuous grip on reality.

I find it dismaying that this man will hold one of the most influencial positions in the land. Or, am I simply out of touch with the criteria followed in making such appointments in the US in the year of our Lord 2013?

William R. Cumming

I refer to Brennan as the Child King John's Sheriff of Nottingham.

The CIA is above the law will be the Brennan moto.

Note Susan Collins taking over Olympia Snowe's place on the Intelligence Committee.

Mike Martin, Yorktown, VA

Does anyone else wonder how much of the $3,000,000,000 we give Israel each year ends up back here funding AIPAC, JINSA, etc as well as appearances by the likes of this Senor?

William R. Cumming

Predict Hagel and Brennan will be confirmed.

Edward Amame

Maybe Obama really does want to shake things up.

Elliot Abrams was on NPR today smearing Hagel. At one point he came right out and played the "anti-Semite" card. The host asked point blank if Abrams just called Hagel an anti-Semite and Abrams answered in the affirmative. The neocons/Washington establishment must be really scared of Hagel, probably for a number of reasons. Figuring they might be getting a lot of ant-Hagel calls from ultra-Orthodox Brooklyn hard-liners, I called my Senators (Chuck Schumer and K Gillibramd) to urge his confirmation. If the Dems hang tough on Hagel, Obama should be able (hopefully!) to get the 5 or 6 GOP senators he needs to make it happen. And hopefully Obama's got Biden working the room on it.


Chuck Todd is egregious. He led tonight's report on the Hagel nomination on NBC Nightly News by calling reaction to the nomination "mixed." It is about as mixed as a cup of coffee with a drop of milk; and the Likudnik-Neocon axis certainly aren't a pitcher of half-and-half, to continue the analogy. You might as well call a 70-30 election result mixed. Todd is a particularly loathsome example of the sad fact that our 'press' has been reduced to mere Courtiers. Indeed, in some cases, like Todd's, they seem very glad to play the role.


Speaking of DC consensus:

“Staffers and members are trying to find out what AIPAC thinks of Hagel, and we are not getting anything,” one Senate Republican staff member said. Another Senate staff member said, “AIPAC will be sitting this one out.”


Sounds like Cleland was right, and Hagel is a done deal.

Buzz Meeks

Unfortunately Schumer will be leading the pack to knee cap Hagel. There are times he will stay under his rock and away from the cameras. This will be one of them. I am ashamed this POS "represents" NYS and then sells our state and country out every chance he gets.

Sponsored and supported domestic drone flight paths. Major supporter of TARP,major plotter to evict national and NYS Occupies,wants gun control/confiscation while he is surrounded by armed to the teeth thugs. Sponsored Michael Mukasey as AG, promoter of torture, racial profiling and unwarranted wiretaps back in the "good old days" of Weasel Bush. Schumer's wife is or was a registered lobbyist for Israel for many years.

Schumer is a true enemy of this country. He will be involved in trying to take Hagel down. Biden calls himself a "Zionist", so I figure he has a knife behind his back at the ready.

Sad to say we have slid that far for me to say the time of GW were the good old days.


He does one thing right and then one thing wrong. Who the hell is steering this ship?

I will trust the Col and Prof Brenner on the DCIA selection. I know more about Senator Hagel and think that he is an excellent pick.

What a world!


But Elliott Abrams was on NPR tonight calling Hagel an anti-semite. Listen to it here and read the comments. All anti-Abrams.

As Mondoweiss pointed out
Abrams offered as evidence of anti-Semitism, Hagel's suggestion that supporters of Israel are not loyal to the United States. Interesting issue. Hagel said to Aaron David Miller:

'I'm a United States senator. I'm not an Israeli senator. I support Israel, but my first interest is I take an oath of office to the Constitution of the United States, not to a president, not to a party, not to Israel."

But Abrams wrote in his book Faith or Fear (1997)

"Outside the land of Israel, there can be no doubt that Jews, faithful to the covenant between God and Abraham, are to stand apart from the nation in which they live. It is the very nature of being Jewish to be apart–except in Israel–from the rest of the population…."


I'll have to join you in email campaign. Though I suspect that Schumer agreeing to Hagel will have the same odds as hell freezing over.

David Habakkuk

Professor Brenner,

“These episodes, supported by less colorful evidence, strongly suggest that John Brennan is a serial liar and someone with a tenuous grip on reality.”

There are different kinds of ‘serial liar’, are there not. One kind habitually misrepresents the truth, while retaining a clear awareness of what it is; another convinces himself that the fictions they create are the truth, and so ends up with a ‘tenuous grip on reality.’ It is not clear from me, from the evidence you cite, which kind of liar John Brennan is.

Otherwise, I completely agree with you, that it is reason for deep dismay that a figure like Brennan should be a serious candidate to head the CIA.

Perhaps what we need – in Britain quite as much as in the United States – is a Confucian ‘rectification of names’.

(See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rectification_of_names )


Senor is simply a an opportunistic spinmeister. The only thing he is good at is staying on message, as long as that massage plays with focus groups, in America. If it doesn't any more, he'll change tune, as illustrated by the formidable Jon Stewart:


Rajiv Chandrasekaran recounted that in 2004, as CPA spokesman, Senor said: “Off the record, Paris is burning, on the record, security and stability are returning to Iraq.”

Happy face everybody!


one of the money quotes from that article:

Associated Press reporter Jim Krane told me in an email that Senor once explained a suicide bombing by saying, “The reason we have bad days like this in Iraq is because we have had so many good days!”


Danny Ayalon has come out supporting Hagel as a friend who has never done anything that threatens Israel. Apparently AIPAC and ADL have also gotten word from Tel Aviv to back off from lobbying against Hagel. So it comes down to a smaller group of neocons and Christian fundies to carry the water for the anti-Hagel effort. I expect that Schumer and Gillebrand will find a convenient opportunity to back off of opposition and that Hagel will be confirmed. It only requires simple majority of the Senate. Brennan may be more controvercial and difficult, given that his confirmation will be a referendum on the abuses of the drone policy, President Obama's Tuesday kill meetings and the refusal to make public the DOJ memo interpreting the Constitution as allowing the President to order assassinations, even of American citizens, without any judicial due process.


I am not surprised that convicted felon Elliot Abrams – convictd for withoulding information from Congress during Iran-Contra - would be upset at someone who will not betray the US the way he did.

The beaver


The same delusional adviser who blames everything on someone else or something else:

He is the typical neocon-Likudnist whose aim is to bomb Iran. Let's see if Bibi get re-elected !!!

BTW: His sister, Wendy Senor Singer, runs the Jerusalem office of AIPAC. His brother -in-law works for the Jerusalem Post.

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